Multiculturalism, which is not so much about the appreciation of diverse human cultures, as it is about the theology of gender, race and class oppression, is the academic religion that sanctions these campus witch-hunts. Its imperatives are established in the “student orientation” sessions required of every entering freshman. “A central goal of these [orientation] programs,” as an authoritative study of these repressive practices sums them up, “is to uproot ‘internalized oppression,’ a crucial concept in the diversity education planning documents of most universities.”
At orientation, students are divided according to their membership by ethnicity and race into oppressed and oppressor groups. They are indoctrinated through training films with titles like “Blue Eyes” and “Skin Deep,” in which blue and white are symbols of the oppressor group, and brown eyes and skin that of the victims. “Programmatic differentiation by race is now typical in higher education. Half a century after the defeat of Nazism, our universities distinguish by blood and equate blood with culture. Sixty years after the Nuremberg Race Laws, we ask our students to check off their bloodlines and to act accordingly. The justification for this submergence of the individual into the tribe is the same as it was under fascism: The individual is a function – politically, morally, and historically of genetic and cultural collectivities. Campus life begins with the sorting out of students into oppressors and victims.” Once this orthodoxy is established, the mechanism of the witch-hunt follows directly. Every dissenter from the orthodoxy – every one who refuses to validate the theology of oppression — is doing the work of the devil, the oppressor.
These episodes are just the tip of an iceberg bigger than the Arctic. Why then are the last thirty-years not known as the era of progressive witch-hunts, especially since there have been many more victims of political correctness than there were of the McCarthy investigations, which have been employed to describe an earlier period? The obvious reason is that in this case the repressive orthodoxy is rooted in the academic culture. In contrast, McCarthy was hated, feared and demonized by the intellectual left because of its sympathies with McCarthy’s victims. These victims were indeed part of a conspiracy as McCarthy charged, though he certainly over-stepped the bounds of veracity and decency in pursuing his targets. The opening of the Soviet archives has shown that while McCarthy was an unscrupulous demagogue, the internal Communist threat in the 1950s was real, and there was – as McCarthy claimed — an organized “fifth column” of progressives ready to collaborate with the Soviet enemy. The left he opposed, on the other hand, survived to get its revenge by writing the history of the era.
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